The crowd swayed, singing every lyric, while the drums pulsed throughout the theater and created a sound wave only found at a Circa Survive show.
The sea of Circa Survive fans that attended the “Violent Waves” concert Friday night filled Tempe’s Marquee Theatre with an incomparable passion and energy that complemented the experimental indie band’s music.
A roaring and applauding Arizona audience welcomed the Philadelphia-based band as they opened with “The Great Golden Baby” from their 2005 album, “Juturna.”
Front man Anthony Green’s slow, high-pitched harmonies contrasted with the crowd’s fast-moving surge of energy.
Among the crowd was El Paso, Texas resident Oscar Ruiz, who was live broadcasting the show on his phone for his girlfriend’s birthday. Ruiz drove six hours from Texas so his girlfriend could at least hear the concert even though she could not attend.
As the night progressed, Circa Survive played a plethora of songs from its four albums: “Juturna,” 2007’s “On Letting Go,” 2010’s “Blue Sky Noise” and its recent 2012 release, “Violent Waves.”
Green danced and jumped around on the colorfully lit stage, synchronically bobbing back and forth to Steve Clifford’s drumming.
At the climax of the group’s new song “Sharp Practice,” a shower of confetti fell on the audience, one of the many confetti falls of the night.
Unfortunately, there was a disconnection between the band and fans, which was contributed by a barrier separating the audience and the stage.
In smaller venues Circa Survive has played, like Mesa’s Nile Theater, Green would jump off the stage and crowd surf, while singing — that was not seen at Friday’s show.
When Green started to sing, “Can we last through the winter / the world is starting to freeze,” fans began to sing along to “In Fear and Faith,” one of the band’s most recognized songs.
Throughout the show, audience members would sing every word from the band’s earlier albums.
Most of the audience didn’t sing along with Green during the newer songs, except for “Suitcase,” the album’s most popular song.
During the slow-tempo song, fans began to clap when Green interrupted the song and said, “Stop clapping.”
The audience stopped clapping instantly. Green continued to sing.
During slow-rhythm songs like “Frozen Creek,” the crowd would calm down and hold up its cell phones, creating speckles of light among the dimly lit venue.
Then, Circa Survive played “Living Together,” switching the set up with a faster tempo song from its “On Letting Go” album.
Guitarists Brendan Ekstrom and Colin Frangicetto’s distorted guitar effects during the song were superb — the lingering, electric guitar chords is an effect the band has perfected throughout the years and is heightened when played live.
Die-hard fans cheered when Circa Survive treated the audience to “Suspending Disbelief” from the band’s first 2005 EP “The Inuit Sessions.”
Fans remained silent, swaying like waves, creating a subtle energy throughout the venue.
The soft blue and purple-lit squares on stage were synced to the bassist Nick Beard’s dream-like bass rifts.
Fans demanded an encore, which Circa Survive responded to by playing “Get Out,” which was a polite, musical way to tell everyone to go home.
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